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* * CDE will be closed on Monday, February 18 for the President's Day holiday. * *

School Nutrition Unit

Our Mission

The CDE School Nutrition Unit administers the USDA Child Nutrition Programs (CNP) that provide healthy food to children in Colorado. Each of these programs helps to fight hunger and obesity and promotes the health and well-being of children. School Nutrition is committed to ensuring all school-aged children have equal access to healthy meals by supporting, training, and connecting Colorado's child nutrition community.

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The Dish is a monthly e-newsletter from the School Nutrition Unit to support you in the implementation of Child Nutrition Programs. 

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Child Nutrition Programs

Monthly Spotlight

Help ensure all children in Colorado have access to healthy summer meals

The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) provides free meals and snacks to millions of children across the country who otherwise might go hungry during the summer. According to the Food Research and Action Center's Hunger Doesn't Take a Vacation report (PDF), on average, only eight children received summer lunch for every 100 low-income children who received lunch in the 2016-2017 school year in Colorado. Help ensure youth in your community have access to summer meals by starting a summer meals program or expanding your summer meals program.

Upcoming SFSP activities:

Updates and Announcements 

Colorado School Nutrition Association (CSNA): Share Your Stories, Big and Small Campaign

Do you have an inspiring story to share about the nutrition program in your school district? Submit your story to the “Share Your Stories” Campaign with CSNA. The most compelling and inspirational story will win a FREE CSNA summer conference registration. Nutrition programs in school districts across Colorado have a tremendous opportunity to learn from one another and enhance their own programs based on the stories, practices and experiences of other districts.

CSNA is asking for your stories that surround the following topics:

  • Inspiring Students - how have some of your staff inspired students?
  • Inspiring Staff - how has your staff member/kitchen manager/supervisor/director inspired you?
  • Inspiring Innovations - what types of innovations are present in your kitchen (school gardens, farm to school programs, student engagement, grab and go programs, etc.)

CSNA will publish these stories throughout the year so that nutrition programs in ALL school districts in Colorado may benefit, learn and inspire one another. CSNA will nominate the most inspiring stories in each of the three categories listed above and ultimately award one district a “CSNA: Share Your Story” award for sharing the most compelling and inspirational story. The awardee will be eligible for a FREE summer conference registration.

Please submit your stories today. You never know how your story will inspire others.

Update on Partial Federal Government Shutdown

H.R. Res 28 reopens the government through February 15th. The U.S. House and Senate members will convene a conference committee on Homeland Security appropriations. If a final FY 2019 appropriations bill or another continuing resolution is not passed and signed by the President by February 15th, the Federal government will shut down again.

Child Nutrition Programs should continue operations into March, as meal providers are paid on a reimbursement basis 30 days after the end of the service month. School Food Authorities (SFAs) should continue with food service operations as usual at this time, including submitting claim reimbursements.

CDE School Nutrition is in full operation and available to answer any program or funding questions. As more information becomes available, we will keep SFAs updated. Please contact Bre Riley at 303-866-6299 or with any questions or concerns.

Frequently Requested

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race,color, national origin, sex, religious creed, disability, age, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form (PDF), (AD-3027) found online at:, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:(1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;(2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or (3) email: institution is an equal opportunity provider.

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Colorado Dept. of Education
201 East Colfax Ave.
Denver, CO 80203
Phone: 303-866-6600
Fax: 303-830-0793
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